Hayden Donnell

Hayden Donnell is a staff writer for The Spinoff.

Local Elections
Sep 19, 2019

The two loud, angry campaigns that could swing the Auckland local elections

The power balance of the incoming Auckland Council could be decided by two overheated local debates about a golf course and a carpark. Hayden Donnell reports.

Read on.

Local Elections
Sep 18, 2019

Cheat sheet: How to not say Nazi stuff at an Auckland mayoral debate

Last night Auckland mayoral contender John Tamihere said "sieg heil" when answering a question on diversity. Sadly that has forced us to put together a cheat sheet on how not to say Nazi phrases in debates.

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Local Elections
Sep 17, 2019

Scandal: Councils spending too little on staff Christmas parties

Yesterday Newshub revealed something shocking and disheartening about the spending practices of our local councils. Hayden Donnell registers his disappointment.

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Local Elections
Sep 14, 2019

Hope, change, and a sprinkling of bigotry at Hamilton’s big mayoral debate

Hamilton councillors have drawn headlines this year for being anti-science and insensitive to terror victims. At a mayoral debate on Wednesday, there were signs a campaign for change is gathering …

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Local Elections
Sep 6, 2019

Should John Tamihere be allowed to shrug off past homophobic comments?

John Tamihere once called gay sex “unhealthy and violating” and has opposed gay marriage. Hayden Donnell follows him to a Rainbow Auckland debate.

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Local Elections
Sep 5, 2019

Race briefing: The fierce pit fight for control of Hamilton City Council

In our latest local elections 2019 race briefing (read the rest here), Hayden Donnell dips his toe into the extraordinary battle for the Tron.

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Local Elections
Sep 3, 2019

Revealed: The famous and interesting candidates standing in our local elections

You may think you’re not interested in the local elections. But did you know the candidate pool is a smorgasbord of celebs, weirdos, and otherwise interesting people? Hayden Donnell reports.

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Local Elections
Aug 28, 2019

The one, stupidly obvious change that would vastly improve our local elections

Some people say it’s confusing. Others think it’s boring. But running all its elections under an STV system could be the single most effective way for local government to fix its lack of diversity and woeful voting turnout.

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Local Elections
Aug 27, 2019

Can we find a single councillor who supports John Tamihere’s rates freeze?

John Tamihere’s rates freeze proposal was criticised from all sides yesterday, but does it have any political support? We contacted Auckland’s councillors to find out. 

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Local Elections
Aug 20, 2019

The invisible mayor: Phil Goff launches stealth campaign to keep his job

We head along to Goff's launch to retain his Auckland mayoralty. How did he get on?

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Local Elections
Aug 17, 2019

Inside the enclave of old that may win John Tamihere the mayoralty

The Spinoff is covering local elections across the country with a new pop-up section. To kick things off, Hayden Donnell went to a mayoral debate at Grey Power on the North Shore of Auckland.

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In My Backyard
Jul 8, 2019

How to change Auckland without making everyone mad

Auckland is going through a period of rapid change. Hayden Donnell talks to an urban design advisor about whether it’s possible to transform the city without riling everyone up.

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In My Backyard
Jun 26, 2019

The suburb at the crossroads of Auckland’s future

Mt Albert is a town at a crossroads. The pressures of growth are set to radically reshape the area, but so far change has left some of its residents and business owners pining for the past. Hayden Donnell travels to the suburb to talk to locals about the way forward.

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In My Backyard
Jun 19, 2019

Why Mt Albert is the best suburb in Auckland

Other suburbs have their appeal, but one rises above them all. Hayden Donnell argues Mt Albert is the best place to live in Auckland.

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Politics
May 31, 2019

Is OpenTheBooks right for you? A comprehensive guide to Auckland’s newest transport lobby

You may have seen the picture, but do you know the people and the policies behind it? Hayden Donnell takes a trip inside Auckland’s newest lobby group, OpenTheBooks.

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Politics
May 24, 2019

Attention, sensible youths, ‘Milkshaking’ is not the way to counter hate speech

‘Milkshaking’ is on the rise in Brexit-divided Britain. But is throwing milky treats the best form of political protest? Hayden Donnell investigates.

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Society
May 8, 2019

Our definitive analysis of anti-housing anthem ‘Standing On Stockade Hill’

In what seems like an unlikely source of inspiration, a group of Howick singers have created a folk protest song about Auckland local body planning rules.

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Politics
Apr 4, 2019

End this madness: why we should stop turning our clocks back for the winter

New Zealand’s insistence on changing its clocks twice a year doesn’t make sense, and it needs to stop, argues Hayden Donnell.

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Settled
Apr 2, 2019

Rates, renovations, repairs: A guide to the hidden costs of buying your first home

Owning a home isn’t just paying back a mortgage over 30 years – it also comes with dozens of extra expenses you may not have thought of yet.

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Food
Mar 7, 2019

In defence of eggs benedict: the everyman’s breakfast treat

Maybe it’s basic. Maybe it’s not to the tastes of foodies about town. But eggs benedict is delicious, writes Hayden Donnell, as he pushes back on the benedict pushback.

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Food
Mar 3, 2019

Why I love: Cielito Lindo, mind-blowing Mexican food next to the dump

In the second in our (rather sporadic) series "Why I love", Hayden Donnell is convinced that Auckland’s best Mexican food is tucked away in an unlikely spot in Henderson.

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Politics
Feb 21, 2019

Once more unto the beach house: Simon Bridges and the Kiwi way of life

Simon Bridges said the Government Tax Working Group's call for a capital gains tax was an 'assault on the Kiwi way of life'. That betrays a very depressing and limited view of the Kiwi way of life, says Hayden Donnell.

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Politics
Dec 31, 2018

Summer reissue: Join me in the exorcism of would-be-Key Simon Bridges

The National leader faced criticisms for trying and failing to parrot John Key. Hayden Donnell had a solution

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Media
Dec 29, 2018

Summer reissue: How NZ news livestreams became overwhelmed by anti-1080 activists

Facebook streams have been overrun by an army of anti-1080 activists. We go in search of the source of the spam campaign.

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Gaming
Dec 28, 2018

Summer Reissue: How the Dark Souls video game series ruined my life

Sometimes it pays to focus on the dark side of gaming. Hayden Donnell shares the harrowing story of his own crippling addiction to Dark Souls.

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Society
Nov 28, 2018

Counterpoint: Santa is neither man, nor woman. Santa is an eternal demon

New Zealand is engaged in a long-running, intense, and completely reasonable debate over whether Santa is a boy or a girl. Hayden Donnell offers his own equally reasonable addition to the discourse.

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